Fall allergies have you sniffling and sneezing? You’re not alone.
Many regions of the United States are experiencing weather conditions – hot, dry air, low humidity, high pollen counts – that are combining to create an allergy “perfect storm.”
Dr. Michelle Abbo told KNSD-TV in San Diego that she’s seeing more patients with seasonal allergies this year than before.
“Certain allergies are present throughout the year, but some allergies are more prevalent in spring and fall and during the time when the leaves are changing,” Abbo said.
You can’t escape the conditions causing fall allergy mayhem, but you can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms by knowing your allergy triggers and limiting exposure to them.
Here are the top three fall allergy triggers and tips for avoiding them.
The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America estimates up to 20 percent of Americans suffer from ragweed allergy symptoms. Ragweed season starts in mid August and can stretch into November in warmer parts of the country. There are 15 varieties of ragweed in the United States and a single plant can produce millions of grains of pollen per day.
Solution: Avoiding ragweed can be difficult, so monitor weed pollen counts in your area. Weed pollen counts are highest on dry, hot, and windy days. Clear brush and weeds from your yard as often as possible.
Mold spores thrive during the fall, especially outside amongst all of those fallen, wet leaves. The symptoms of mold allergies are similar to ragweed allergies – sneezing, runny nose, nasal and sinus congestion, coughing, watery eyes, an itchy mouth or throat – so it’s important to get tested to know what’s causing your symptoms.
Solution: Try wearing a pollen-filtering mask when mowing grass, raking leaves, or working with mulch, all of which can increase exposure to mold. Indoor mold growth can be prevented by controlling moisture levels. Keep indoor humidity below 60 percent and check humidity levels regularly in your home. Using a dehumidifier in damp areas (like basements) can help.
The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America estimates 20 million Americans have a dust mite allergy. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid summer conditions, but also get stirred up when you turn your heat on for the first time in the fall, according to WebMD.
Solution: Perform regular heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) maintenance. Wash bedding regularly with hot water or dry clean, which kills all mites and removes dust from fabrics. Many people with dust mite allergies have good luck using HEPA filters in their homes.
Alkalol Nasal Wash is the only saline rinse formulated with natural extracts and essential oils for an invigorating clean. Alkalol provides natural relief from nasal congestion caused by sinusitis and allergies. Alkalol is available at Walgreens, CVS, and other fine drugstores and supermarkets.